I have had so many people ask me if it is “worth it” to travel to Disney World when their children are still very young. My answer is always a resounding “Yes!” Whether it is infants, teens, or kids in between, there is something for everyone in Disney World. Traveling with younger kids can always pose unique challenges and especially on such an active trip. Fret not, with a few simple tricks, you can all enjoy the magic!
Use a stroller—even with older kids! Bringing a stroller to Disney when your children are little is a no brainer, but I promise you that renting a stroller is a lifesaver. The best part? Your travel planner can make the reservation for you, you get a quality single or double stroller complete with a rain cover and cooler AND it is delivered right to bell services at your resort. No one wants to walk from the back of Magic Kingdom carrying a tired seven year old!
Pack snacks Even if you are on the Disney Dining Plan and have snacks included in your package, you do not want to waste those credits on things like crackers, water or granola bars. Your travel planner can help you place an online grocery order that will be delivered to your resort. For a small convenience fee you can have the order delivered right to your room by bell services. Ordering a case of water, Gatorade, juice boxes, cereal, granola bars, crackers, chips, and milk can be really helpful to keep everyone satiated. This is also a great way to save money and maximize your dining plan, but we will save that for another post.
Down time While it is difficult to stick to your child’s exact schedule while traveling, honoring nap time and allowing for everyone to rest will help the kids (and you!) from become exhausted. I cannot stress enough that Disney is an active vacation. There is no way to see and do everything, so let your travel planner work with you to understand your “must do’s” and build an itinerary that includes time to relax and recuperate. Each Disney resort also has so much to offer that you’ll want to enjoy some time there as well.
Keep your gear handy Pack a bag with all your essentials and restock daily. This may include diapers, wipes and feeding supplies, but it could also be blister band-aids, a dry set of clothes water, and sunscreen. Having a well-stocked bag will ensure that any of your child’s needs can be met and that you avoid having to go to a care center or gift shop to purchase items. Your travel planner can send a complete list of park bag essentials to ensure you have all the things you need.
Ask for what you need There is no destination on Earth that is more accommodating that Disney! If your child is in the middle of a meltdown, or has a fever, or can’t find a special toy in a store that they had seen in another location, do not hesitate to ask for help. Cast members will go out of their way to ensure your family is happy. My daughter needed a swim vest at the pool and when I asked a lifeguard if any more were available, a manager had one brought over from a neighboring resort when there was not one in her size available. On another trip my son lost his first tooth and Guest Services gave us a little tooth-shaped box for his tooth and a note from Tinkerbell and an “I’m Celebrating” button. Disney isn’t just about the rides and shows, the magic is woven into their service.
There is no reason to wait on a Disney trip until your children are older. In fact, I tell clients to travel for the first time before their children are three, because then they are free! Disney is magic at any age and while your child may not remember their first glimpse of Cinderella’s Castle, you will hold that magical memory in your heart forever.
Kelly Roselle Travel Consultant Specializing in Disney destinations
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